Day 26 – 10/19/14 Sunday
Last night, while I was at McDonald’s charging up my camera battery, a German guy told me he would let me know when it was charged since I wasn’t sitting near it. He even brought it over to me when it was done! The only reason I mention it is because I ran into him twice today at two different spots. I saw him in Antelope Canyon and again in the parking lot later, and after that I saw him at Horseshoe Bend, a completely different location! We did talk a while, but I needed to get on the road to make sure I made it to the Grand Canyon by sunset.
Ended up at Lone Rock Campground last night and pulled into some kind of parking lot near the bathrooms and just climbed into the sleeping bag. Anyway, sunrise wasn’t anything special and Lone Rock proved not to be too impressive and everyone was camped directly along Lake Powell and you almost had to walk through their camp while they were sleeping in order to get to the water. So it was breakfast at McDonald’s (want to make sure they stay in business) and recharge the other camera battery and wait a bit for the sun to get higher before going into Antelope Canyon. It’s pretty narrow and if the sun Is lower in the sky, it won’t illuminate the slot very much. Antelope Canyon is pretty amazing and I found out that they added more access than when I went last. However, the cost is pretty impressive as well, especially if you want to use a tripod. But, you either pay up or you can only get vacation pictures to take home, so they have you over a barrel.
I spent close to three hours inside the slot, but there were a lot of people most of the time and other times I found myself alone. Sometimes you couldn’t move because some people were constantly taking pictures of themselves every ten feet!! Finally, I had to just say excuse me, excuse me and plow through them; it was ridiculous. I went through a lot of memory there because most times I had to take several exposures of each shot. Sometimes though only about two would do it.
Finally got out and decided to take a chance and take a few pictures of Horseshoe Bend to go along with the shots of the sky from last night. I was trying to get there for the sunset, but the 89 Detour screwed things up. But I got pictures of each on separate occasions. Then it was on to the Grand Canyon and it looked good for getting there by sunset, but it was close in order to get to the preferred spots toward Hermit’s Rest by bus; you can’t use your car. I did manage to get there about 30 minutes before, but there were clouds along the horizon and the sun played peek-a-boo until it finally set, so I didn’t get anything really good with sidelighting except maybe the very first shot before the sun went behind the clouds. Some of those clouds looked like they had rain coming from them just as the sun really lit them up and I switched to the 70-200 again. I passed on one bus back to the village in order to take shots of the canyon in the afterglow of the sunset with a row of clouds hanging just above the north rim and just made the next bus.
When I got back to the village, I hung out by the fire at the El Tovar Hotel and just thought what I needed to do tomorrow on my final full day of the trip before pulling the plug and heading back to Phoenix. When I was leaving the hotel, I realized I didn’t have my headlamp with me and I checked around where I was but it wasn’t there. Finally I asked at the desk and miraculously they had it, someone had turned it in. I use it all the time so I would have been lost without it. I had a very big dinner at the food court which seems to something new since the last time I was here, as well as another hotel.
Now as usual, I have to figure where to park myself for the night; I guess at the campground if it’s not full. I hope not. Got to get up early tomorrow to get a bus in time for sunrise at Yaki Point.